WikiLeaks’ latest leak has pulled the pants down on US’s National Security Agency (NSA) and UK’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). In an article “Software reverse engineering” WikiLeaks has shown how the security agencies tinkered antivirus software like ‘Kaspersky’ to snoop on people’s personal communication.
The security agencies reverse engineered the codes of antivirus software, i.e “translated them from machine readable to human readable so that their functionality and vulnerabilities could be more easily analyzed.”
A fact that is of interest is that GCHQ, to carry on this illegal act obtained a warrant to make it legal. To be precise, the warrant in question is SRE Warrant (GRW/1160) renewable every 6 months. It legitimizes the invasion of personal space of citizens by government agencies in UK.
Many antivirus software like ‘Kaspersky’ work on a high privilege level within a computer system to ensure its safety. Bugging these can give a dangerous level of penetration into a computer system to a hacker, government or otherwise.
Until WikiLeaks made an appearance, the totalitarian world of the big brother was considered a mere Orwellian paranoia. However, with every new leak, the reality that the world is controlled by the superpowers is becoming more and more clear.